"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread ... where nature may heal and cheer and give strength to the body and soul.”
By John Muir
Enjoy a memorable 2-day Yosemite National Park private custom adventure with hotel accommodation included. This is a hassle-free travel package with an easy and secure booking.
Did you know that the very long 1-day Yosemite trip takes you only to the Yosemite Valley which is just 1% of the Yosemite National Park wilderness? To see more of Yosemite National Park wonders, we highly recommend booking this 2-day private custom adventure, which will include the incomparable Yosemite Valley, majestic giant sequoias, and the always-breathtaking Glacier Point overlook. Embark on a 2-day custom trip and explore hidden sights, including rivers, gold mining towns, alpine lakes, rural and agricultural valleys, and so much more.
Your personal tour guide will pick you up at your San Francisco hotel around 8 am and drive you to Yosemite National Park through Central Valley. There will be several breaks and stops for breakfast, as well as photo opportunities, as you ride through the largest agricultural region in Northern America. You will have a chance to view picturesque farms, ranches, grassland dairy farms, endless farmlands with outdoor farmers markets, and rivers (which include the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers). The Central Valley, which spans over 450 miles, supplies a quarter of the food America eats, including delicious fruits and vegetables.
After making a stop for breakfast in a small farming town, or historic gold mining town (meals are not included in the tour price), your guide will drive you through the winding roads along the Sierra Nevada Mountains toward Yosemite Valley. Yosemite Valley is home to some of the world's greatest natural wonders; among them Yosemite Falls, Ribbon Falls, Bridalveil Falls, and Cascade Falls, sheer granite towering cliffs like Half Dome, El Capitan, Cathedral Rocks, the Three Brothers, Cathedral Spires, Royal Arches, the Lost Arrow Rock, Sentinel Rock, and so many more hidden wonders.
Your experienced guide is educated about Yosemite and its abundant natural wonders, including the park’s stunning geology and biology. The two-day Yosemite custom trip is sure to be a memorable experience as you embark on our unique adventure to explore Yosemite National Park’s beautiful and majestic wilderness.
Following lunch, which will be at a restaurant of your choice or outdoor area overlooking Yosemite Valley, you will have the chance to explore more of Yosemite Valley through hiking and walking along waterfalls and picturesque rivers. You can also choose to spend this free time at the visitor center, which is highly recommended if you want to learn more about Yosemite Valley. Please be sure to wear comfortable shoes that are suitable for hiking. When you are on a Golden Horizon 4x4 SUV private tour, you have the option to walk, hike, or enjoy the views while we drive you through Yosemite’s valleys and wilderness areas.
After an afternoon exploring and learning about this unique national park geology and biology, your guide will drive you to your hotel for the night. Though we do not take a commission on hotel rooms for our customers, we are happy to assist with reservations, because at Golden Horizon Travel we value and appreciate our customers' business. Nevertheless, we highly recommend that you book your hotel directly. Please see more information under the ‘accommodation’ section below.
Most hotels and resorts offer amenities including swimming pools and hot tubs (please bring your swimsuits in summer). In the vicinity of the hotel or within the same resort, there are restaurants and cafes where you can dine and enjoy your breakfast the following day (meals are not included in the tour price). Please note that there are only few hotels within Yosemite Valley area, and they get booked up to one year in advance! The sooner you book, the better.
Enjoy a full-day adventure on the second day of the tour that will take you to unique sights, including a guided tour to the majestic giant sequoias, and then a trip to the high country to marvel at breathtaking Glacier Point, High Sierra wonders, and hidden waterfalls. After breakfast (not included in the tour price), your guide will take you on a journey to explore two iconic sights: majestic and ancient giant sequoias and spectacular Glacier Point.
Glacier Point is an overlook on the south rim suspended over Yosemite Valley and towering at an elevation of 7,214 feet. From here, a panoramic vista stretches out into the endless horizon for many miles in all directions. You can see snow in the beautiful high country, which is not visible from Yosemite Valley on the one-day tour. Take in the stunning views of the giant staircase waterfalls including Vernal and Nevada falls (invisible from the Yosemite Valley). See Clark Range, Clouds Rest, the peaks of El Capitan and Half Dome, the Valley Floor, and much more. Don’t miss out on this amazing 2-day custom adventure.
After your fabulous guided tour to beautiful Glacier Point, your guide will drive you to one of the groves of giant sequoias in Yosemite and hike with you as well. For those who can’t hike, we can offer a drive to the famous Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias (if open to the public and accessible to incoming traffic which might be restricted due to limited parking space). Please note that this road to Glacier Point is seasonal and can often be closed from October to May due to heavy snow falls.
The splendors of the Yosemite giant sequoias:
Although in most visitors' minds Yosemite is most famous for its lush valleys, granite rock formations, and majestic waterfalls, Yosemite National Park's three groves of spectacular giant sequoia trees are equally majestic and unique. The giant sequoia species, or Sequoia Dendron, is relatively rare and only grows in a 250-square mile area of the eastern Sierra Nevada mountain ranges in California. So, don't miss your chance to see these beauties while visiting Yosemite National Park. For this reason, we recommend our 2 or even 3-day overnight custom tour.
There are three magical groves of giant sequoias located within Yosemite National Park, the largest is known as Mariposa Grove which has been closed for renovation and restoration since 2015. Although it has recently opened to the public there are many restrictions which makes it less accessible, and it is a longer drive to get there from Yosemite Valley. Merced Grove is the least busy of these three groves of giant sequoias, but the Tuolumne Grove is everyone’s favorite’s grove because it’s much closer to Yosemite Valley than Mariposa Grove and offers more trees than Merced Grove along the hiking trail. Please leave it to your expert tour guide to customize the trip itinerary based on factors like weather and road conditions, opening or closure of groves and parks that can occur at any time and deposing on the season.
Tips for visitors and hikers:
- If you are subject to car or motion sickness, please consider asking your doctor for recommended medication or stop by a pharmacy and consult a pharmacist in this regard.
- Consider leaving unnecessary luggage at your hotel and travel light so you have more room in the vehicle.
- Wear clothes and shoes suitable for walking and hiking (Snow shoes in winter are recommended, and a swimsuit to enjoy the hotel’s swimming pool and hot tub).
- Bring sunscreen, bug spray, extra memory cards, and batteries for your camera (if applicable).
- Warm layers for cooler weather, and a raincoat for summer showers.
- Drink lots of water due to the high altitude and don't hike alone, as we offer fully-guided tours.
- We are not responsible for injuries or accidents that may occur during this trip in or out of Yosemite National Park. Please read our terms and conditions for more information.
Day 1 tour itinerary summary
Day 2 tour itinerary summary
Your Golden Horizon Tours guide will meet and greet you at your hotel with a sign displaying your name. We offer complimentary pick-up and drop-off at your hotel in downtown San Francisco or Fisherman's Wharf, in Emeryville, or Oakland or in Dublin-Pleasanton Bart Station or anywhere along Highway 140 and 120, or in Mariposa when booking a private tour. Your personal tour guide will drive you through the East Bay and the city of Pleasanton, Dublin and Livermore known for its wine country and medical and nuclear laboratories. We can also pick you up in Silicon Valley, including San Jose, Morgan Hill and Gilroy when booking a private tour (extra fees may apply). Your tour guide will drive through the scenic hills of Pacheco pass and San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area (if leaving from Gilroy) and drive via Los Banos, Merced and Mariposa or Oakhurst.
Drive to Yosemite via Central Valley
When departing from San Francisco driving onto Highway 580, the tour guide will continue to Central Valley, through Livermore Valley and Altamont Pass windmill farm. Altamont Pass is nestled in the Diablo Mountain Range where you can see hundreds of wind turbines on both sides of the highway. It is a surreal sight so be sure to check that out. You will then be driven down to the green flat valley known as Central Valley, passing cities like Tracy and Manteca, a small city where the famous American author, John Steinbeck worked at Spreckels Sugar Processing in order to gain inspiration and learn about the working class for his novels.
Break in Central Valley: "The Fruit Basket of the World."
California Central Valley is one of the largest agricultural farming areas in the world and the largest in North America. It is commonly referred to as the ‘Fruit Basket of the World’ because this is where most of fruit and vegetables, consumed in America, comes from. Your driver may stop at one of local farmers to showcase the valley’s crops, or a local roadside fruit and veggie stand; they are wonderful and reasonably priced. A number of coffee shops and restaurants can also be found along the way. Oakdale hosts an outdoor Rodeo and a chocolate festival every year and it is renowned for its cheese factory which is open to the public.
Drive to Yosemite via old gold mining towns
The Yosemite tour continues on Highway 140 or via 120 through the Gold Country where gold was discovered in 1848. You will be driven through the historical Chinese Camp along Highway 120, an old mining town, and past Don Pedro Lake where you will have a chance to stop and take a picture. Don Pedro is a majestic man-made lake nestled in the Sierra Nevada foothills boasting 160 miles of shoreline. Don Pedro Lake, which attracts over 400,000 visitors each year, became a popular destination because of its many water sports and water activity offerings: house boating rental, fishing, swimming, waterskiing, jet skiing and windsurfing. The tour will then take you past Moccasin Powerhouse which is located along the Hetch Hetchy pipelines, and around winding and scenic roads through the Sierra Nevada highlands heading east to the Yosemite. Enjoy the scenic views and picture the historic town of Groveland established by the famous gold seekers known as the Forty-Niners. Groveland is the gate to the Yosemite National Park and home to the historic Iron Door Saloon which was established in 1852.
Sierra Nevada’s Natural wonders
The Yosemite tour continues through the Sierra Nevada which stretches over 400 miles from south to north. The Sierra Nevada is home to the world’s most amazing natural wonders, including the Yosemite National Park and groves of giant sequoias, considered to be the largest trees on Earth. Geologically, the Sierra Nevada is home to the US highest peak outside of Alaska – Mount Whitney (14,505 ft).
You will arrive at the Yosemite National Park via the western side of the Yosemite Park, known as Big Oak Flat entrance (32 Miles to the Yosemite Valley). The 2-day Yosemite tour offers many opportunities to take breathtaking photos, beginning with the first tunnel photo stop located on Big Oak Flat Road. You will see some incredible sites, including Merced River and Canyon.
The Yosemite Valley
The Yosemite Valley is deeply carved into the gently sloping western flank of the western part of the Sierra Nevada and characterized by its ‘U’ shape. The Yosemite Valley tour offers you unique views of the park: imagine views of towering cliffs, spectacular waterfalls, and the beautiful alpine scenery. Marvel at Yosemite’s natural wonders, which include waterfalls, granite-polished domes and hanging rocks such El Capitan, Cathedral rocks, and Half Dome. You will be taken on an easy hike to marvel at the Bridalveil waterfalls facing El Capitan. And then drive up to Tunnel View viewpoint, overlooking the Yosemite Valley, for a spectacular photo stop. The tour will continue to Sentinel Bridge, which overlooks the Merced River dominated by the imposing Half Dome – the most dramatic and recognizable rock monument in the Sierra Nevada. There is so much to see in Yosemite Valley and your tour guide will be on hand to offer you options and alternatives depending on the season and road conditions.
Walk to the Yosemite Falls: The highest waterfall in North America
You will now stop for lunch at the Yosemite Lodge restaurant and recreational area in the heart of the Yosemite Valley, an idyllic location by Yosemite Falls facing the Yosemite Royal Arches Rocks. You can also choose to enjoy your lunch outdoors, as a picnic, and be surrounded by the giant rocks that contrasts against the lush greet flat of Yosemite Valley grounds. Yosemite Royal Arches Rocks are where the Yosemite falls emerge at a 2,400 foot drop down in the Valley. The Yosemite Falls are three waterfalls in one: The Yosemite Upper Falls, the Yosemite Middle Falls, and the Yosemite Lower Falls. The Yosemite falls combined drops a total of 2425-foot (739m) down in the Yosemite Valley, which makes the it the world’s 6th highest waterfall. Other hiking trails may also take you off-the-beaten-path to hidden waterfalls and natural wonders. This will depend on the season and your preference, as you can choose between hiking, walking or simply driving and stopping anywhere within the Yosemite wilderness, thanks to our 4x4 vehicles. Be sure to visit the Yosemite Valley gift shops for great souvenirs.
Check-in at the Hotel
After an exciting adventure on your first day in Yosemite, Day 1 of the Yosemite National Park tour you will be driven to your hotel. Restaurants are open and available at your hotel or resort or in the town where you will stay (meals are not included in the tour price). Depending on which hotel you stay at, your tour guide and the hotel will suggest activities or restaurants for you to go to that night. Our tour prices are based on double occupancy at a 3-star hotel. We also recommend that you book your own hotel if you have higher expectations regarding the hotel accommodation (since we only charge a nominal fee person per night when booking your 2 or 3-star hotel/motel). The check-in time depends on various factors, including road and weather conditions and your tour guide’s choice of routes or your preference.
Breakfast at the hotel followed by Hotel check-out
Day 2 starts with a breakfast at your hotel (not included in the tour price). After breakfast, you will check out of the hotel to start a new and exciting journey exploring Yosemite High country, gorgeous meadows, wilderness and a grove of giant sequoias.
Glacier Point: The Yosemite High Country Wonders
Enjoy a scenic ride from the grounds of the Yosemite Valley or the Wawona Meadows up to the splendid high country where you will enjoy a guided walking tour to the breathtaking Glacier Point. Enjoy stupendous and sweeping views that stretch out over the Yosemite Valley hanging cliffs, domes, including Half-Dome, and the stunning high country. You can also admire the Yosemite's most famous waterfalls, including Vernal Falls and Nevada Falls. You may see some bears out in the meadows among other wildlife. Please note that the trip to the famous waterfalls is not available for our 1-day Yosemite visitors, so it is a real treat for our 2-day Yosemite customers!
Lunch Break and head to a grove of giant sequoias
Enjoy a much-deserved lunch break anywhere in Yosemite National Park. There are delis and restaurants and you can even buy food and have a picnic outdoors. For our VIP tours, we will ensure you eat at your preferred restaurant. Your tour guide will arrange that with you the day of the tour.
Although in most visitors' minds Yosemite is most famous for its lush valley, granite rock formations, and majestic waterfalls, Yosemite National Park's three groves of spectacular giant sequoia trees are equally majestic and unique. There are three magical groves of giant sequoias located within Yosemite National Park. The largest is known as Mariposa Grove which has been closed for renovation and restoration since 2015. It has recently opened to the public but with many restrictions which makes it less accessible, and it is a longer drive to get there from Yosemite Valley. Merced Grove is the least busy of these three groves of giant sequoias, however, the Tuolumne Grove is everyone’s favorite’s grove of giant sequoias because it’s much closer to Yosemite Valley than Mariposa grove and offers more trees of sequoias than Merced Grove along the hiking trail. Please leave it to your expert tour guide to customize the trip itinerary based on factors like weather and road conditions, opening or closure of groves and parks that can occur at any time and depending on the season.
Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias Mariposa Grove is home to the largest Giant sequoias in the Yosemite National Park and this particular stop is not available on our 1-day trip to Yosemite. At the Mariposa Grove, you can choose between a short and easy walking tour and a more challenging hike, or you can simply take the Big Tree Tram Tour through the Park's Mariposa Grove of Giant sequoias. Regardless of what you choose to do, you will ultimately learn about the unique history of these magnificent trees. The Big Trees Tram Tour is a fascinating 75-minute audio tour of the Mariposa Grove of Giant sequoias. If you prefer not to walk or hike, you can see many of these ancient giant sequoias in the parking lot.
In winter, the gate to get to Mariposa Grove is closed, but you can walk about 30 minutes to the parking lot, which will be covered in snow, in order to see these ancient giants.
Back in San Francisco: "The City by The Bay"
Your personal tour guide will drive you back to San Francisco or to your home (pick-up location) and drop you off. A few photo stops and food and restroom breaks will be scheduled as you make your way back to the City by the Bay via Central Valley.
Thank you for choosing Golden Horizon Private Customer Tours. We appreciate and value your continued business.
Note- Do not miss out our 3-day adventure as the 2-day trip is limited to certain areas and the driving distance on day 1 and day 2 makes the trip shorter as it takes 5 hours approximately to drive from the Bay Area to Yosemite and return on the second day. We can also pickup anywhere along the road to Yosemite.
YOSEMITE TOUR PRICES
This SUV tour is totally private, and the price is per person.
|Price per person||1 Guest||2 Guests||3 Guests||4 Guests||5 Guests||6 Guests||7 Guests|
|Hotel Accommodation Excluded||$2498||$1249||$1029||$829||$709||$609||$549|
|Hotel Accommodation Included||$2798||$1399||$1189||$989||$869||$759||$699|
|Price per person||1 Guest||2 Guests||3 Guests||4 Guests||5 Guests||6 Guests||7 Guests|
|Hotel Accommodation Excluded||$2498||$1249||$1029||$829||$709||$609||$549|
|Hotel Accommodation Included||$2798||$1399||$1189||$989||$869||$759||$699|
This VAN tour is totally private and not available for public or individual reservations. The price is per party and not per person.
|Price per group||1-5 Guests||6-7 Guests||8-10 Guests||11-12 Guests||13-14 Guests|
|Hotel Accommodation Excluded||$4599||$4899||$5499||$6299||$6899|
|Hotel Accommodation Included||$5199||$5989||$6759||$7199||$7499|
|Price per group||1-5 Guests||6-7 Guests||8-10 Guests||11-12 Guests||13-14 Guests|
|Hotel Accommodation Excluded||$4599||$4899||$5499||$6299||$6899|
|Hotel Accommodation Included||$5199||$5989||$6759||$7199||$7499|
Included: Tax, pick-up and drop-off in San Francisco downtown or Fisherman’s Wharf, a private 2-day guided tour, Yosemite National Park entrance fees (up to $125 included in the tour price), and hotel accommodation, if applicable.
Not included: The price does not include meals, driver’s gratuity, overtime, and optional activities or features.
Gratuity is not included, but customary in the USA as you may know. For a great service, 20% to 25% tip is customary, however, 20% is considered to be a ‘good tip’. For example, if your private tour cost $1000 (one thousand), the 20% gratuity would be $200 (two hundred).
Common misconception about Yosemite hotel accommodation: There are only a couple of hotels located within the Yosemite Valley area, like the cabin style lodge located by the Yosemite Falls, but these are often booked up 12 months in advance.
If you book our tour package with accommodation, we will include a three-star hotel located as close as possible to Yosemite Valley floor to save you time and hassle. If you want something more upmarket, we recommend that you choose your own resort or hotel, like the Ahwahnee Resort - which is the only luxury hotel located within the Yosemite Valley, and book it directly with them. Since we don’t work on commission, we don’t include luxury hotels in the tours options, as this will increase your private tour rate by at least 25% or more.
We will then provide you with the luxury transportation and an expert tour guide, with all taxes and entrance fees included.
If you choose to book you on resort or lodge, we recommend that you select one close to the valley floor, otherwise you will waste hours every day to get to there and back to your hotel. Since you will not have much time at the hotel anyway, it is better to enjoy the day exploring the park attractions and embrace this wilderness in its all forms.
Most hotels and resorts offer amenities including swimming pools and hot tubs (please bring your swimsuits in summer). In the vicinity of the hotel or within the same resort, there are restaurants and cafes where you can dine and enjoy your breakfast the following day (meals are not included in the tour price).
Note: Many confuse us with travel agents. We are not travel planners and we don’t work on commission. We are a small private tour operator located in San Francisco, focused on providing custom tours and delivering 100% of what we offer on our website. For travel planning purposes and for items such as insurance, please contact your own travel agent or a travel company who can provide such services.
The misconception about private tours: Ever wondered why small group private tours are more expensive than large group tours, if in fact you are going to the same place?
Simply because public group tours are more cost-effective for the operator, than private tours. In essence, the input cost of private tours and public tours are roughly the same - both provide one driver or a tour guide, one vehicle, same trip length whilst both companies assume the same business expenses and commercial insurance liability. However, private tour operators (like ours) make 95% less profit than public group tours, because all our resources are dedicated to a small group (couples or families), whilst the pubic tour operators make 10 times more profits thanks to the volume (quantity)!
We, on the other hand, focus on quality as we never share our private tours with other customers. Yet, although we provide a higher quality tour service, and incur even greater expenses in many cases, the profit margins are limited. This makes some of our private tours barely profitable, as we dedicate all our recourses to one small group at the time.
Note: Please understand that we do reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. We have the right to remove rude customers, and limit unfair demands from clients, wasting the company’s time and resources, which impact other customers and our staff who are also often affected.
To read more about our terms and conditions, please click on this link
Term & Refund Policy
-91% of the total amount will be refunded to your credit card if you cancel your trip at least 15 business days prior to the scheduled tour (or the date of the tour or service). The remaining 9% covers the required transaction fees; that’s 4.5 % per each transaction (booking is one transaction and refunding is a second transaction for which we get charged as well). (weekends and holidays don’t count).
-50% of the total amount will be refunded if the tour is canceled at least 7 business days prior to the scheduled tour date or service. (weekends and holidays don’t count).
-15% of the total amount will be refunded if the tour is canceled at least 5 business days prior to the scheduled date of the tour (weekends and holidays don’t count).
-0% of the total amount will be refunded if the tour is canceled 4 business days, or less, prior to the day of the scheduled tour or service. This includes no-shows. (weekends and holidays don’t count)
Please note that all refunds are subject to credit card and merchant’s fees imposed on us by credit cards' companies and merchant banks or providers. The average amount of credit cards and merchant’s transactions fees may range between 3.9 % to 9.8% of the total amount of your purchase (transaction) based on the type of credit card you use when booking this tour, the credit card issuer, country and conversion fees we are subject to, and per transaction. Many foreign countries apply additional origination and conversion fees. Important: Please note that we reserve the date(s) you requested and booked on our website for you and we decline taking other tours for these date(s) to honor yours. We keep a tour guide and a luxury vehicle on hold and make all required reservations and arrangements for you and your party, so please don’t change the date or cancel at the last minute as we have other customers and tours to honor.
– We will confirm your reservation by email, and we will send you a tour voucher or email confirmation. This tour is only valid for the specific date you reserved on our website, and only valid for the names listed on the booking. You can’t transfer the names or ask for a different date, as we have other tours to honor. You may not change the tour date within 15 days from the date of the scheduled tour you booked, and there will be no alternative days offered.
In an effort to honor all tours, we reserve the right to partner with other tour operators, freelancers, and/or our sister companies. The exact name and contact information of your tour operator will be stated on your tour voucher and the trip confirmation will be issued especially for you after we received your approved transaction. All tours are subject to availability as we may get several tour requests at the same time. Approved payment transactions do not guarantee your tour unless it has been confirmed via email.
Please note that when transactions are declined, we do not receive any information in this regard, so do not expect your reservation to be in place unless you received written confirmation. Please contact us asap, but do not expect us to honor your tour without an email confirmation and tour voucher from us.
If your booking was declined by your own bank, this is often due to a mismatch between your bank information (such as the names on the credit card, zip/postal code or billing address) compared to the bank information you provided on our website when placing your order. Sometimes, transactions are declined due to insufficient funds as well. Your tour(s) will not be confirmed until your new transaction is approved by your own bank. We apologize for the inconvenience, but your own bank did so to prevent fraud and protect your credit card information or due one of the above factors.
All our tours are subject to availability even when the transactions are approved. We will get back to you as soon as possible and let you know if the required tour(s) and date(s) are still available. Also, all our tours are conducted in English unless otherwise stated in the email or tour voucher confirmation we will send you soon, once your transaction is approved.
We reserve the right to offer you suitable substitutes or changes to your itinerary, tours or services due to special events, weather conditions, road closures, vehicle breakdowns, unpredictable circumstances, unavailability and/or due to last minute reservations. We assume no responsibility for delays caused by accidents, breakdowns, unforeseen accidents or events, road, weather conditions and/or all other circumstances beyond our control. We do not guarantee to arrive to, or depart from, any point at a specific time for the same above considerations. However, we will do our very best to honor your tour itinerary and schedule accordingly.
Other terms and information
Pets: Pets are not allowed in our vehicles out of respect for those who have allergies to pets.
Smoking: Our vehicles are also non-smoking.
Clothing: Please be prepared for cold weather, slippery roads and hiking trails, so have comfortable waterproof hiking shoes to walk on the snow in winter and spring. This long day-tour is hard on kids and seniors, we therefore recommend the overnight tour package.
Parks, Attractions and Site’s Closures: We are not responsible, nor liable, for road and weather conditions. State and national parks’ closure can happen at any time and without a prior notice, due to bad road and weather considerations. No refund will be issued, regardless of the reasons for which the trip may not reach its destination. If you cancel or stop the tour for personal or medical reasons, there will be no refund or change of tour or dates offered either.
Guided tours in foreign languages: All tours in foreign languages are subject to extra fees to cover tour guides or freelancers we may hire to honor your tour in the required language.
Travel Agents: Travel agents are liable for 20% gratuity when their customer does not tip the driver or tour guides. We require customers’ full name and contact information from all travel agents or the tour will be cancelled. Travel agents are also liable for all overtime when their clients do not pay for it, and a credit card will be needed on file. Due to the high cost of conducting business in California, we barely cover our business expenses and wages, therefore, they are at non-commissionable rates.
Gratuity: 15 to 20% gratuity is required and customary in the USA. Generally, a tip may vary between 15% to 20% of the total purchase amount, or it can be a flat amount that is near the appropriate percent. It really depends upon the situation.
Additional Terms & Tips for visitors and hikers
– If you are subject to car or motion sickness, please consider asking your doctor for recommended medication. Some visitors underestimate this aspect and end up visiting only 50% of the tour as they suffer from this or altitude sickness and make an excessive number of stops along the way. Please consult your doctor and ensure you have the appropriate medication in advance.
– Consider leaving unnecessary luggage at your hotel and travel light so you have more room in the vehicle.
– Wear clothes and shoes suitable for walking and hiking (Snow shoes in winter are recommended, and a swimsuit to enjoy the hotel’s swimming pool and hot tub).
– Bring sunscreen, bug spray, extra memory cards, and batteries for your camera (if applicable).
– Warm layers for cooler weather and a raincoat for summer showers.
– Drink lots of water due to the high altitude and don’t hike alone, as we offer fully-guided tours.
– We are not responsible for injuries or accidents that may occur during this trip, in or out of Yosemite National Park. Please read our terms and conditions for more information.
-Expect rugged terrain with narrow, steep, and very curvy hiking trails to the sequoias. Also, be prepared for a downhill hike and then back uphill to the parking lot. The trail is very steep right at the beginning on the way back up but mellows out as you get closer to the parking lot. It depends on the grove your driver will choose for you, but they all require hiking. The elevation at the trailhead of both top groves is about 6,200 feet (1,860 meters). The most popular is the Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias, the distance is about 2.5 miles (4 km) round trip and takes about 1.5 – 2 hours of hiking, and recommended for everybody who can hike including kids.
-California Gold Country: When Tioga Pass road (located between Yosemite and the Eastern Sierra where a major highway leads to Tahoe) is closed due to heavy snow that may start as early as October until about June or July, we will drive through the infamous, yet legendary, California Gold Country on day 2 and day 3 of your adventure.
-Please note that we may start in Lake Tahoe first, and then head to Yosemite National Park or vice versa. This will depend on the hotels’ availability, the season, the weather and road conditions. We do not work on commission, so you are welcome to book your own hotel, but if you don’t want to deal with these details, we can take care of that on your behalf when you choose the option ‘hotel included’ from our shopping cart.
Hotel Reservation: To keep costs down, we charge each guest only about $100 per night, for a three-star hotel in and around the Yosemite Valley area, based on availability. However, if you have high expectations of the hotel accommodation, and wish to upgrade, we recommend that you choose your own hotel and book it directly with the required resort or hotel. The Majestic hotel (the former Awhanhee) is the only 4-star hotel in the Yosemite Valley where a suite may go from $600 to $1200 per night based on availability and the season. Please note that there are a very limited number of hotels in Yosemite, and they are often sold out 6 to 12 months in advance, so the sooner you book the better. However, we often manage to get a hotel reservation nearby Yosemite Valley, in one of the small resort or motel style hotels in the area, for reservations closer to the tour date.
More Terms and Miscellaneous
Foreign Languages: Our tours are conducted in English unless otherwise indicated on your tour voucher. Some foreign languages are subject to additional fees. For all foreign languages, you must book a Private Tour and not a semi-private tour to enjoy the tour in the required language (subject to availability). Additional fees may apply to any additional foreign languages. All semi-private tours are conducted in English and can be shared with other clients. Semi-private tours will no longer be available on our website.
Miscellaneous: Meals and tour guide/driver gratuities are not included in our tour price unless indicated on your tour voucher or email confirmation. Tour prices do not include additional fees including wine tasting, accommodations, and entry fees to see attractions and sites, winery tours, unless otherwise indicated on your tour voucher or email confirmation.
All vehicles operated by Golden Horizon Travel ,Inc. are non-smoking according to state and federal laws.
Golden Horizon Travel ,Inc. reserves the right to hire independent tour guides/drivers, subcontractors and/or contractors to facilitate our tours, shuttle services and travel packages.
In the event that we are unable to facilitate your tour due to weather and/or road conditions, we will attempt to reach each location, site and destination using alternative routes, but we are not liable nor responsible for these unforeseen weather/traffic conditions. No refunds will be available.
All photos or videos taken by our staff of our customers or passengers, during the capacity of the tour, trip or transfer, may be included on our website. Customers hereby agree to the use of these photos and videos and under no circumstances can customers dispute.
No substitution or refunds for any unused part of the tour(s) will be issued. All sales are final.
No refunds will be issued for a no-show or unused portion of the tour.
All refund and/or voided transactions paid on our website by credit or debit cards or via PayPal may take up to 2 weeks before you receive the funds (refunds) back into your account.
Our hot-air balloon rides are not guaranteed to depart and arrive back in Napa Valley and are subject to last-minute cancelations for weather considerations. Golden Horizon Travel ,Inc. reserves the right to fly anywhere within an 80-mile radius of Napa Valley depending on the weather conditions.
We reserve the right to refuse service to any person or business who may refuse to comply with our safety instructions, our tour itinerary, or to anyone who may pose a threat to our customers and/or our tour guide-drivers. Screaming at or insulting tour guide-drivers or fellow passengers or third-party businesses and subcontractors is not acceptable under any circumstances and will terminate and cancel your tour without any refund. Discrimination against a customer or a tour guide–driver for any reason is not acceptable either under any circumstance.
Cancellation due to unforeseen weather conditions: Weather/Unforeseen Circumstances like fires, landslide, road closure, vehicle breakdown, employees or driver’s medical emergency or due other weather conditions or unforeseen circumstances; we revere the right to offer you alternative tours, destinations for the same amount of time.
Our Bucket List Overflowed, a wonderful day in an amazing park with the perfect tour guide!
Katheryn Kennedy - London, UK
Breathtaking adventure in Yosemite Wonderland. We found this company on Trip Advisor & we were not disappointed!
The Jamesons. Sydney, Australia
A wonderful tour package in Yosemite National Park with Adam. This tour has totally exceeded expectations! The best experience ever!
Erin M. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
Unforgettable & Fantastic! trust their reviews and believe what you read on Trip Advisor; they are consumed professionals.
Chris G., Dallas, Texas
Explore nature at its best ! Yosemite is magical, unique and must be on everyone’s bucket-list. Golden Horizon Travel staff and tour guides are underrated.
Yosemite National Park and Sierra Nevada beauty exceed our expectations. This place is breathtaking but avoid the peak season and stay away from the Yosemite Valley . 5-stars to our tour guide Adam, he made this journey unforgettable. He is an expert photographer too!
M. Hachadourian. Greenwich Village, New York
10 Stars! Fun, informative, flexible, indulgent, patient,& very professional guides in a warm & engaging manner.
Jarmila Sramkova. Prague, Czech Republic
Believe every good thing you read about this tour company; you will not be disappointed!
Mike and Jane - Nashville
Treated like King & Queen! Breathtaking, OUTSTANDING and A MUST See!! Without any hesitation, 5 stars!
Loreena’s family Madrid, Spain
They are consummate professionals who really care a lot for their customers' wellbeing and experience- a must do!
Rob & Marhta Baton Rouge
Impressive! Their Ability of organization, understanding , customizing , entertaining , educating - make them the best at what they do. What unforgettable experience with Buddy!
Natasha C Calgary, Canada
Outstanding tour package to Yosemite ,Mammoth Lakes , Sequoia national park & Death Valley with Adam and Jonathan . I've run out of superlatives to describe this unforgettable and once-in-a-lifetime experience ...10 STARS + & Highly Recommended
Holly Millard- Holly Millard, IN
You won't be disappointed if you use Golden Horizon for all your tours! Top notch service!
Susan.S- McAllen, Texas
A 6-star experience! Their tag line is to “exceed expectations” and they certainly delivered. From the moment of making a booking to the actual tours - Superb!
10 Stars for Patricia & Golden Horizon: top guides & top-of-the-line luxury SUV tours
Brenna Q. Phoenixville
10 stars! Reliable company, responsive staff & accommodating, fun, informative, flexible, indulgent, passionate guides
Kw9196family- Thurmont, Maryland
First, I'd like to say I'm a real customer and not some PR guy writing this review. I'm writing this because I believe good service should be made aware to others who are looking for an unforgettable experience just as I was last week. To save on search time, I figured I'd write a review on my experience with golden horizon travel. I just came back from an amazing Yosemite Tour and I just have to say, our tour guide Adam was not only very knowledge but also super accommodating. When I was evaluating different tours, my priorities were to make the tour as comfortable as possible which meant I wanted a tour that was :
-small, comfortable means to accommodate my motion sickness (winding roads really mess me up)
-an SUV tour (only 3 tour companies offer SUV tours in San Francisco to Yosemite)
-see the Sequoia Trees (most tours do not offer sequoia tree viewings as part of their tours)
-a very knowledgeable and well-rounded tour guide.
-1-day tour... because we were just in town for Memorial Day weekend.
-hotel pickup. I didn't want to go around looking for a meet up point when visiting a city for the first time
- knows where their drivers are and their scheduling. I've called 3 other tour companies prior to this and learned a lot of tour companies just broker out their tours to other big tour companies. A lot of them didn't know what dates or what kind of cars we would be getting. There was another company that offered 4 door jeeps but riding those in a prior experience was beyond rough.
- was responsive to all our questions and wasn't condescending to whatever question we asked about the tour.
Well my girlfriend and I found all this with our tour guide adam not only stopped at a grocery store prior to arriving at the park to save on food for the hike (park prices are astronomical) but he also went as far as giving me the coat off his back to combat my cold and headache condition as a result of my car motion sickness on the way up. The weather conditions this memorial day weekend were rainy and despite how much we were a little bummed because it was cold and rainy, his spirits were up and still tailored on the fly which sites we still could see and better shortcuts to get there to avoid the major crowds.
By the afternoon, the crowd at Yosemite was insane and the 2 lane roads were all backed up in most cases, but Adam always seemed to know where to turn to avoid it. I was particularly impressed that he knew how to combat the areas where there was construction going on and how to get out of a backed-up situation so quickly to get to where we're going instead of wasting time waiting in traffic. We got to see Bridal Falls, Yosemite Falls, El Capitan, and a bunch of other places which I don't remember names of. now that I'm home and thoroughly exhausted from the tour ( which was just 2 days ago), my girlfriend and I were very happy we went and would more than likely book the tour again when we make it back to Yosemite. This time around it will probably be more than one day. Not knowing how many places there are to visit and hike in Yosemite...one day just isn't enough and there is something to be said about having a tour guide to show you around the in's and outs and knowing the key places to see most tours don't cover is a definite bonus especially for first timers like us.
I hope this helps others in their search for a tour.
Houston, Texas A
What an amazing trip around the entire Lake Tahoe after a 2-hour tour of Alcatraz Island and 4 hours’ drive from San Francisco. I know this is not the ordinary combo tour, but we booked the overnight trip package to South Lake Tahoe combined with a tour package of Yosemite National park, so we can squeeze in the tour of Alcatraz as well, since my kids wanted to see it so badly. My wife, mother in law and my kids loved the snowmobile guided adventure with Alex in Lake Tahoe high country. We enjoyed a thrilling ride throughout Tahoe forest and heavy snow. The stops and vistas along the way were breathtaking, what a peaceful and wonderful destination. Our custom adventure of Yosemite national park sights and attractions was the best trip ever! Go to Yosemite either before Traveling during the off-peak season was the prefect deal for my family, the parks we visited were less crowded; we got cheaper flights, and better hotels in Lake Tahoe and Yosemite.
Chris G., Dallas, Texas
We booked a tour package to Lake Tahoe combined with a trip to Yosemite National Park, starting in Napa Valley and ending in San Francisco. On day one, Adam came to pick us up at San Francisco International Airport and dropped us off at our hotel in downtown Napa Valley (Andaz Napa by the Hyatt). The next day, we had a private tour of Napa Valley with Adam, where we visited small wineries, including some castle wineries, and had lunch at the Auberge Du Soleil restaurant in Napa. We had a fantastic day in Napa Valley wine country.
On day 3, our tour guide Jonathan picked us up at our hotel in Napa Valley and drove us to Lake Tahoe. Jon was very friendly, informative and highly knowledgeable. We enjoyed the stops he made for us in the Gold Country and in Lake Tahoe, where we had a custom sightseeing tour around the lake. We loved the stop and walking tour to Emerald Bay state park.
This journey in the Sierra exceeded our expectations- what a marvelous place! Our hotel accommodation was in a casino resort style hotel in South Lake Tahoe. The resort has all the amenities and offer plenty of shows and nightlife. The rooms were large and comfortable, with views of the lake. Don’t miss out on the gorgeous sunset over Lake Tahoe.
The next day, we had ski lessons at Heavenly Ski Resort, and then had an exciting snowmobile adventure in the white snowy mountains of the Sierra Nevada. The views of Lake Tahoe from the High Country are breathtaking!
Yosemite on the other hands, is a true wonderland and a magical place. This is where we spent the last 3 days of our travel package to California. I highly recommend this tour package with Golden Horizon Travel to everyone, and specially to families with kids like ours (for spring breaks or holidays). My kids loved it, and my husband and I had a wonderful time.
Alex / Adeline Seah- Singapore
We were a group of 7 travelers from Hong Kong on a business trip to San Jose, California. We booked this private day trip to Lake Tahoe with Golden Horizon Travel in San Francisco and San Jose, and we were not disappointed. We were so excited to play with the snow up at Heavenly Ski Resort, and the views are amazing over the lake from heavenly gondola overlook. We highly recommended this day trip to Tahoe. But if you have time, go for the overnight trip package, which is better because of the long drive from San Francisco. It took us more than 4 hours each way without traffic!
James Wang, Hong Kong
One of the hardest things to do when trying to book excursions in California from overseas, is being able to trust unknown tour companies in California. After investigating many trip options in the San Francisco Bay Area, considering the costs and reading tour reviews on Trip Advisor, we chose a tour company trusted over many years. We booked two incredible and separate excursions with this travel company based upon older great reviews and friends’ recommendations. We booked the trip from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park, spent a night in the Yosemite Valley and then the next day we traveled to Lake Tahoe through the Tuolumne meadows - a land of wonders in every sense of the word.
We got to Lake Tahoe in the late afternoon and spent the night and extra day in Lake Tahoe south shore. The lake is picturesque and the cruise ship we took on the lake allowed us to get close to many state parks and beaches not accessible otherwise to vehicles. We highly recommended this travel agency in San Francisco, you will not be disappointed.
Naina Kwok- Jakarta- Indonesia
Our 3-day private tour to Lake Tahoe, Gold Country and Yosemite National Park was excellent and so was our guide Peter. He has immense knowledge of the Sierra and Lake Tahoe. He made stops along the way in Sacramento, Placerville, Lake Tahoe, and Reno in Nevada where we spent one night. Our 2-day trip to Tahoe and Reno were a bit short due to the driving time... but our last day in Yosemite was our favorite part of this outdoor adventure. Yosemite is a must-see place to explore with a real tour guide like our personal guide Pete. He didn’t disappoint us. We will certainly use this tour company again; a 5-star service all the way!
Nicky & BannySh. Kolkata (Calcutta), India
Both our tours of Muir Woods and Point Reyes national seashores, combined with a horseback ride, were amazing and unforgettable thanks to our guide Luis. Both trips were totally customized to me and my family. The horseback ride was exciting, and Point Reyes national seashore sights are spectacular. Our adventure to Lake Tahoe and Reno, on the other hand, was a very long trip. It took us almost 5 hours to get to Reno from San Francisco. I wish I knew how far this was, but we still had a great time in both Reno and Tahoe. The next day, after the tour, we were dropped off at Sacramento Airport. Thank you, Nellie, for your help and patience during our booking process. You guys rock.
Gabriela & Oscar Reyes, Lima, Peru
Original review poste don trip advisor in Spanish:
“Increíble Vacaciones e inolvidable experiencia en Lago Tahoe y Reno!
Los dos tours que reservamos con esta empresa fueron el combo Parque de Muir Woods y Reserva de Point Reyes con un paseo a caballo fue maravillo e inolvidable gracias a nuestro guía Luis. Ambas excursiones fueron personalizadas para nosotros. Mi hijo de 13 años le encantó. La cabalgata fue divertida y la reserva de Point Reyes fue espectacular.
Por otro lado, nuestra aventura para visitar Lago Tahoe y Reno fue un día largo, nos tomó 5 horas en llegar a Reno saliendo desde San Francisco, que lástima que no teníamos más días para quedarnos más tiempo, pero definitivamente la pasamos genial tanto en Reno como en Tahoe. Al día siguiente volamos a casa desde el aeropuerto de Sacramento. Muchas gracias, Nellie por toda tu ayuda y tu paciencia durante nuestro proceso de reserva. Chicos son lo máximo...! muchas gracias!
Gabriela & Oscar Reyes, Lima, Perú
Lake Tahoe is the best of the West Coast of both Nevada and California sides. Even if you’re not
a fan of the outdoors activities, Lake Tahoe is well worth the long drive from San Francisco.
This is must-see destination with remarkable places to please everyone. Tahoe is such a special
place; I recommend it to everybody who likes nature.
We also booked Yosemite day trip with tour company, was a very long day trip but worth it.
Martha Frierrs and Family, Alabama
Lake Tahoe region is one of the must-see places in California with an array of activities for both summer and winter. We loved it, and our kids already want to go back there. They took ski lessons and fell in love with Heavenly Ski Resort in South Lake Tahoe area. We would like to visit Tahoe in the summer as well, as I am sure it will look great; all green after the snow season. Don’t miss out on Emerald Bay during your stay - it’s beautiful. We can check that off our bucket list now-awesome):-
Jimmy & family -Belize
We spent too much time in Southern California (in Los Angeles) during our last trip to California. But San Francisco Bay Area is way better and has so much to offer visitors. We did a half-day sightseeing tour of the city in Spanish, and then we head east to Lake Tahoe. The Lake is pristine, wonderful and so clean, the air was fresh and pure with magnificent surroundings. The hotel, booked for us by the company, was clean and well-located close to major attractions.
Our tour guide, Guillermo, was awesome - a very friendly and funny guy. Try to avoid school holidays as some places were a bit crowded, but there is no traffic once you get to the lake. As for trip to Yosemite, this was a once-in-a-lifetime vacation and a unique experience, you got to visit Yosemite and see it with your own eyes.
Lucia & Rogelio Mérida-Mexico
My family and I signed up for this Lake Tahoe and Whitewater Rafting combo adventure. We started off with the rafting experience, which offered incredible thrill rides on the south fork of the American River. We got a bit scared at some of the rapids, but we managed and had a blast. That was the highlight our 2-day tour package with Golden Horizon Travel They provided us with lots of info beforehand and all necessary equipment required for the trip, so we felt properly prepared and safe for the rafting adventure. The rapids are exciting, challenging and thrilling, and our guide was competent and fun. The Lake Tahoe guided tour was fun, and the alpine vistas are stunning. Overall, an exciting family adventure, with lots of fun, and the best trip so far with our kids.
Alice & Ian Rich, Calgary, Canada
Our tour guide-driver, Pat, was the best! She was prompt, and very knowledgeable about the areas we drove through, from the San Francisco Bay area to Lake Tahoe. A beautiful SUV too, and very comfortable! I was nervous at first to book, as it was a little pricey, but it is well worth every single penny!! Trust me. We would definitely use this tour company in our future visits to San Francisco and Yosemite! Tahoe was another beautiful place we would have missed. My kids loved tubbing and sledding in Lake Tahoe meadows. Thank you, guys and good job!!
Gina W. Johnson. Wausau, Wisconsin
From the moment we contacted Golden Horizon Travel via their live chat online, to the tour itself, the booking process and the high level of customer services and dedicated attention, everything went just perfect. They are true professionals and pay a lot of attention to detail. They responded promptly to all of our inquiries and questions, even late at night. As for the tour package, private tours and hikes we took with our passionate and fun tour guide Adam, we enjoyed every single minute of it in the High Sierra Nevada wilderness. Yosemite National Park is a magical place with unique biology and geology. We even had a close-up encounter with a bear by the giant sequoias in Mariposa Grove. While Taft point and Glacier point are a must-see, don’t miss out on Tioga road through the Tuolumne Meadows area. We stopped at the Mono lake visitor center on the way to Lake Tahoe, and that was quite interesting with all these so-called tufa towers in the middle of the lake. Lake Tahoe is another wonderland of the Sierra, with a wide array of outdoor attractions. We were a bit tired, but luckily the 4x4 SUV allowed us to gain access to places where large vehicles are not allowed, so this saved us a lot of hiking. Highly recommended
Julius Ramesh Goodwood Park, Trinidad
My wife and I want you to know how much we enjoyed our time with you and how much we regret the distance that separates us. Adam was so welcoming and so generous in carrying oBook This Toun with our trip when the two American ladies withdrew at the last moment. Adam's passion for Yosemite and his educated and deeply-researched knowledge of the area, its geography, geology, trees and animals gave us insights, views and opportunities that made us feel less like tourists and more like students Most of all, we loved travelling with your company. We hope that both enjoyed the outing as much as we did. I started out thinking that Adam had taken us to "photographers' Heaven" but with so many subjects and such vast scenery to photograph and my cameras being so inadequate, it was frustrating not to have the skills and equipment to capture the beauty and scale of Yosemite, Mammoth Lakes and Tahoe. However, even better than photos are the vivid memories that we have brought home with us from the wonderful times we had in Lake Tahoe, Eastern Sierra and Yosemite National Park. I have some photos to send to you when I have finished editing and sorting. We thought that San Francisco was a great city and would love to return. We will return soon to go to Big Sur and Hearst Castle, or to the redwood national park area, and hope to visit this amazing place with your guide. Thank you for your company and kindness. If you ever have a chance to travel to Australia, please let us know so that we can attempt to return some of your hospitality. We hope that we can meet again. In the meantime, we are telling all our friends not to visit California without booking a trip with Golden Horizon Travel.
Yours sincerely Bob and Faith Australia
We booked the day trip to Lake Tahoe from Palo Alto in Silicon Valley while visiting the area for business purposes, my son and I had a fantastic time with our Japanese tour guide Hiro in south lake Tahoe. We also booked a sperate day trip to Yosemite Valley, that was a long day drive from san Francisco bay area, but we had lot of fun in Yosemite Valley.
While visiting friends of mine in San Francisco, we decided to book this one-day trip to Tahoe with golden horizon tours, and we were not disappointed. Our tour guide Adam picked up the prefect ski resort for us; Squaw Valley (the Olympic Valley) and Alpine Meadows, they are now one ski resort with massive and beautiful terrain, quality snow, and friendly staff. This is our favorite place in lake Tahoe for skiing. As soon as we got off the Squaw Valley Aerial Tram (cable car), we fell in love with mastic and panoramic views of Lake Tahoe from this stunning overlook. From easy slopes to challenging bowls, there's something for the entire family, this is an awesome place for young and the elders even without skiing. Our driver Adam is also an expert skier which made it more fun as he knows very well both ski resorts (Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows).
Juan Sandoval and friends Santiago, Chile